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Longarm>Domestic Quilting

Old 12-01-2021, 06:04 AM
  #1  
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Default Longarm>Domestic Quilting

I pulled out a UFO that is currently of the less-loved variety, though at one time I did love it. I had started quilting it when I only had my longarm for a few months and at that time, I wanted to quilt it to death for good practice.
I had made a poor choice in deciding to do piano key quilting 1/4" lines in the borders and quickly learned I do not love doing that!
It is soooo close to being done. it is all quilted except for 2 1/2 borders.

I am in a position in my life right now where i do no have access to my longarm nor do i have the space/ability to start new fun projects. So I pulled out this UFO and decided that I could use my domestic machine and walking foot to finish the piano keys.

Here are some problems/questions...

1. Since I am only working in the outer border, I find it cumbersome to rotate the quilt 180 degrees to do the subsequent parallel line.
--I tried to avoid the full quilt rotation and stitch the next line while holding the "reverse" button on the machine. This was awkward and made it hard to guide the quilt and my line was super wonky.
--Rotating the quilt 180 to stitch the next line straight is a lot of work when I'm only going about 8 inches before needing to turn.
--should I cut thread at the end of each line and stitch the piano keys all in the same direction and avoid rotating the quilt altogether?

2. The stitching style looks completely different between the long arm quilting and the domestic quilting. I am using the same top and bobbin thread (I had kept them together with the UFO project). Is this just the nature of the beast or is there a setting or trick to make them look more comparable?

3. My walking foot lines are significantly less than straight.
--I do not have an extension table nor do I have domestic quilting rulers. I do not have the means to get either right now.
--I do have a quilt guide foot attachment thing (I have never used it), but if I put it on, that doesn't guarantee my lines are straight, it just means I am paralleling the wonkiness of the previous line?

4. Should I abandon the uniformity of the piano keys and do something different in the remaining borders that is easier for me and my walking foot?
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Old 12-01-2021, 06:24 AM
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There are projects where I say "I've gotten everything out of this I can" but I still have the need to finish to the point of usability. I feel the pain of being so close yet so far.

I've always found myself able to do my best machine quilting on the borders, especially on my old vintage machine. I got spoiled by having access to a friend's long arm for a number of years but lucky for me, I've always preferred less quilting and a fluffier batting than is currently popular. Just by the nature of your design, as you are finding, so close means the workmanship needs to be more than close enough!

I think part of the problem is the direction of the design and the way you are moving the fabric, plus the walking foot might actually be working against you a bit. In general, unless I am doing straight grids, I prefer a free motion technique to a walking foot. Sometimes I get better results with a regular foot. I like the idea of just going off the edge on the new part.

I might suggest actually using the change in machines as a style thing, start out by trying to mimic the design on both of the completed edges -- then switch to free motion or just get more free and scribble your way through the remainder until you connect the sides.
Attached Thumbnails border-squiggle_2021-12-01_061717.jpg  
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:20 AM
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I like what Iceblossom suggested about just get it done the easiest way for you. I don’t think we are supposed to go backwards with our walking foots as they are not designed for that. Could be wrong, it’s happened before, but I would check into it before using walking foot for backwards stitching.
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Old 12-01-2021, 07:55 AM
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So you have the ability to drop your feed dogs and do you have a darning foot, FMQ foot or hopping foot for your machine. Dropping feed dogs and using one of the feet will allow you to do side to side stitching as Iceblossom drew then you don't have to keep turning your quilt around. If you can't drop your feed dogs put your stitch length at 0 and you should be able to do FMQ. Use this quilt as a learning experience.
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Old 12-01-2021, 08:27 AM
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Just go for it. Don't over tax your thoughts on this one. Take off the walking foot and let things rip. This quilt will be nice no matter which way you quilt it. I love FMQ and it looks great on borders.
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:07 AM
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umm...I may go for a design decision. Leave what you have done, then change directions for the last two boarders. Make the quilting lines which your walking foot parallel to the seam line. It would be much easier to do. Stitch one line, use your quilt guide or even to edge of walking foot to line up with the just stitched line, end the first line, just slide the quilt back to the beginning and repeat until done. For the corners you could draw a diagonal line ending each line on that. For your partially stitched border, you could rip the stitching out or just start the parallel lines there. I would tell people I designed it that way for a modern look. Tee Hee.
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:29 AM
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My walking foot always moves the top feed dogs (attached to the walking foot) forward, even when using the reverse button, which makes reverse sewing have a quite different stitch length than forward mode. I think most (all?) walking feet are made this way. You can do a quick test to check if yours is this way.

I vote for design decision - leave what you've got and FMQ something that appeals to you in the remaining unquilted border areas. You can go with something similar or something quite different. Have you ever wanted to learn feathers? Paisleys? McTavishing? Since the goal is to get the quilt done, you can use the borders as a learning and practice experience. Yes, things that are new to you are not going to look "perfect" or even excellent, but learning work is still good enough when looked at a reasonable distance.

Alternatively, if having similar quilting in the borders is important to you and you want to continue with the walking foot approach, I suggest sewing each line in the same direction (rather than trying to turn the quilt or use reverse mode). It'll be a lot of securing of the ends of sewing lines, but you'll get there. Slow and steady. One thing that can help to get straighter lines is to mark your sewing lines using a removable marking tool and a ruler. (Crayola washable markers are popular with many folks. Make sure to test it with a scrap of your quilt fabric before using it on the quilt!)

I'm curious exactly *what* looks different between your long-arm and DSM stitching. The stitch length? The evenness of the stitches? The tension? (is the thread compressing the batting a lot more in one mode than the other?) If you can tell us what appears to be the difference(s), we can try to suggest ways to adjust you DSM sewing to better match the long-arm.
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LAF2019 View Post
I pulled out a UFO that is currently of the less-loved variety, though at one time I did love it. I had started quilting it when I only had my longarm for a few months and at that time, I wanted to quilt it to death for good practice.
I had made a poor choice in deciding to do piano key quilting 1/4" lines in the borders and quickly learned I do not love doing that!
It is soooo close to being done. it is all quilted except for 2 1/2 borders.

I am in a position in my life right now where i do no have access to my longarm nor do i have the space/ability to start new fun projects. So I pulled out this UFO and decided that I could use my domestic machine and walking foot to finish the piano keys.

Here are some problems/questions...

1. Since I am only working in the outer border, I find it cumbersome to rotate the quilt 180 degrees to do the subsequent parallel line.
--I tried to avoid the full quilt rotation and stitch the next line while holding the "reverse" button on the machine. This was awkward and made it hard to guide the quilt and my line was super wonky.
--Rotating the quilt 180 to stitch the next line straight is a lot of work when I'm only going about 8 inches before needing to turn.
--should I cut thread at the end of each line and stitch the piano keys all in the same direction and avoid rotating the quilt altogether?

I would consider doing this quilting FMQ rather than using a walking foot and then you won't have to turn the quilt 180 degrees. If its the last border near the edge that shouldn't be too bad. If you mark the lines that will make it easier. It's not going to be perfect but it will get done more quickly.

2. The stitching style looks completely different between the long arm quilting and the domestic quilting. I am using the same top and bobbin thread (I had kept them together with the UFO project). Is this just the nature of the beast or is there a setting or trick to make them look more comparable?

Is it the stitch length that's different? IF you make the stitch length similar to what the Long Arm used that might help. BTW when I"m FMQ I leave my feed dogs UP and that helps make my stitches more even, if you decide to go that route.

3. My walking foot lines are significantly less than straight.
--I do not have an extension table nor do I have domestic quilting rulers. I do not have the means to get either right now.
--I do have a quilt guide foot attachment thing (I have never used it), but if I put it on, that doesn't guarantee my lines are straight, it just means I am paralleling the wonkiness of the previous line?

It'll never be noticed on a galloping horse and that's the only kind I ride. or

One possibility is to mark the lines.


4. Should I abandon the uniformity of the piano keys and do something different in the remaining borders that is easier for me and my walking foot?
I would. Getting this quilt finished is more important than it being perfect. and this border is clearly a problem Just don't enter it in a show. Once again: It'll never be noticed on a galloping horse and that's the only kind I ride
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Old 12-02-2021, 11:59 AM
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Thanks guys. I decided it was a good enough time to try out fmq on the domestic. I found my hopping foot and am piano keying the rest of the borders. I have to say, it don't not look good and super janky, but I am okay with that since I've accepted this quilt as practice! it certainly is much quicker to do it this way than with the walking foot.
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Old 12-02-2021, 12:56 PM
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No worries. this is great practice. I find straight lines much more difficult than curves when FMQ. You'll get it done and get valuable practice.
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